Submitted by Jeff Buster on Tue, 03/15/2011 - 10:34.
utility crew stretching their job to the breaking point - image jeff buster 3.14.11
Yesterday I watched from am to pm as a crew of 3 (at times 4 or 5) gas company workers stretched a hole in the road.   
It was a hole that had been excavated a few months back – when it was very snowy - to fix a gas leak.   When the original excavation was back filled, it was not mechanically compacted. 
So over the last few months the asphalt surface patch sank about 6 to 8 inches right at the curb, leaving a depression which one could still drive over, but was at the limit of drivability. The depression was, however at the curb in a parking space.
So the crew came back yesterday at 7:30 am.   The crew consisted of a nice new John Deere backhoe loader with operator, a six wheel dump truck and driver, a 10 ton service truck with driver, a police detail, and one or two supervisors who came and went, and later in the day a 10 wheel hot asphalt mobile batch truck with a crew of two.
The crew first opened back up the hole – the surface of the hole was about 5 feet wide by 8 feet long. The backhoe set up and removed the asphalt patch and about 18 inches of the fill. That took about 10 minutes and then it was coffee break.   Coffee break took about an hour.   Then, while the operator read the paper in the cab of the John Deere, the service truck fellow got into the hole and went back and forth with a jumping jack compactor for about 10 minutes. Then it was lunch.   Lunch lasted til about 3:00 pm.  The police detail stood on the curb and talked with the service truck operator who was sitting shotgun in his service truck.   Then the crew went into high gear and the dump truck backed up and dumped in about 2 yards of recycled crushed concrete fill.   Someone got a shovel and leveled the gravel.    Two minutes there.   It was about  50 degrees so each piece of equipment ran all day long to keep their cabs warm.  The jumping jack started making noise and the crushed material was compacted.   5 minutes, whew. At 3:30 all the gas guys jumped in their cabs and boogied back to the gas co yard.
 The excavation was left about 4 inches below the original street asphalt level.   Late in the day I heard the beep, beep, beep of a backup alarm.   Two guys on a hot mobile batch truck. They filled the 4 inch depression with hot asphalt and the edge brushed with emulsion.   These guys were not from the gas company, but were independent contractors. They put in the longest burst of work all day. 20 minutes.  
3 orange cones were left on the patch at about 4:30.  
The remaining cones – I think – are for the primary purpose of making sure a crew has to come back by and collect them.   This will take a ½ day.


steal_the_hole_in_slow_mo.jpg145.08 KB
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 Here's another HOLE--getting bigger...